During the flu season, maintaining health can be a challenge, especially if your colleagues are getting left and right.

The ominous signs of a severe flu season hover around like the virus itself.

For the first time this year, there was an outbreak in Australia – sometimes predictive of similar problems in the US – to the presence of Strain H3N2, which carries a particularly powerful blow.

So far, however, the flu virus did not start accepting the brutal charge two years ago, when 79,000 Americans died of influenza-related causes in the worst spell of the decade.

In its weekly update released Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported two childhood flu-related deaths this season, with flu activity remaining low, though increasing late.

The percentage of medical visits due to flu-like illness rose to 2.1, which is still below the national reference value of 2.4%. In addition, Louisiana and Maryland were the only states that showed widespread flu cases.

“Overall this season has not been so scary. Of course, it's still early, "said Ogbonaya Omenka, an associate professor and public health specialist at Butler University. "Until now, various health departments have managed to contain it in ways that have allowed us to have some kind of significant epidemic or problem." recommended for the northern hemisphere.

The flu season officially lasts from October to the end of May every year. Activity peaks around the end of the year and in February. Doctors and public health experts say people need to start preparing now and get the flu. (Photo: tommaso79 / Getty Images)

The Arctic blast, currently gripping large sections of the United States, can put its theory to the test by forcing people inside and exposing them to others infected with the virus. That is why the winter time between December and February is considered to be the height of the season.

"It is too early to know which flu viruses will predominate in the US this season, but regardless of what is spread, the best protection against flu is the flu vaccine," CDC spokesman Kristen Nordlund said via email "Most flu vaccines in the United States protect against four different viruses."

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The CDC recommends flu shots for anyone older than 6 months who has no contraindications for an axine made from either inactivated influenza viruses or a single gene from a virus, neither of which can cause infection

Here are answers to some questions about influenza and how to improve your chances of fighting it: [19659019] How effective is the flu?

Depends on the year because the virus constantly mutates, sometimes the combination of strains chosen for the vaccine matches the virus that is expected to be in circulation, sometimes not so much.

"While influenza is difficult to predict and circumstances can change very quickly, data still support the appropriateness of the recommended composition of influenza vaccines for the upcoming 2019-2020 season," Nordlund said.

The CDC acknowledges that in years when the vaccine is inappropriate, the recipients of the photos may receive little benefit.

Mayo A clinical review of past studies says that the average efficacy in adults younger than 65 years was 50-60%. [19659019] Do I have to worry about these coefficients? [19659020] They are still better than what you would get in Vegas, and there is motivating evidence showing that people who are vaccinated endure less severe symptoms than those who did not when


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Even during the rough 2017-18 season, the CDC estimates that influenza vaccines have prevented over 7 million cases, 3.7 million doctor visits, 109,000 hospitalizations and 8,000 deaths.

What is the optimal time to receive it?

Not later than early December, but October and November are the best months. Remember, it takes two weeks for human antibodies to develop a vaccine response.

"In this kind of evidence-based approach to infectious diseases, it is important (to remain flexible)," Omenka said at the perfect moment, "The recommendation may change because we are dealing with pathogens that are not static. They respond to us by trying to check them. "

It's hard to say for sure how long the defense will last, because everyone's immune system is different, but at least six months is a fair estimate. March is usually the lowest month for flu activity.

Exclusively, the vaccine is available in drugstores nationwide – often free of charge with insurance plans – in medical offices and clinics, drugstore supermarkets, and even at Costco.

The CDC said they were more prevalent. of 155 million doses of vaccine, here's a locator:

How many

Not as much as the CDC prefers, the agency estimates that only 45% of U.S. adults inoculate, significantly less than children, who enter 63%.

President Donald Trump, who September issued an executive order aimed at improving vaccine production, saying in a 2015 radio interview that he had never had the flu because he "didn't like the idea of ​​injecting bad things into your body."

The CDC says that "bad things" will not cause you flu – contrary to some myths – only to help you avoid it.

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